Wednesday, October 10, 2007
It’s not about my height. It’s not the about his being vegetarian. It would have been easy to blame the alignment of stars or the personal temperaments, but I guess the latter would count more than the reading of zodiac signs. The guy I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, is now the same guy I wanted to get a life and leave mine undisturbed. And to think he may not be knowing at all how I felt toward him as of the moment.
I am faithful to many things. People who went to some special place would leave me stones or twigs or paper pieces which they believe to have been touched by the mysterious forces of nature, turning the lifeless things into amulets. I keep them all now in a fishbowl, and ask favors from them as I would from a miniature Buddha figure or a wooden cross. If I did not trust in their supposed powers, they would have long belonged to the trash bin. Also, the culture in which my family raised me up in has me putting faith in this superstition or that, so even when an obsessive house help accidentally dropped the house’s bagua, I asked my parents to keep the chipped mirror in my room if they wished to replace it with a new one, if not replace the erring maid with another, more careful one. Finally, long-lasting things such as my romantic relationship had to be treated with fresh faith every once in a while. I had such trust in my boyfriend that it cannot be another girl (or worse, another boy) that caused our falling out. He must have gotten tired of losing ground over me.
My boyfriend first complained about our different schools. Our rival universities’ basketball fanaticism notwithstanding, he protested that in his free time, I had classes and in mine, he had compulsory field training in football. I arranged for a visit in his campus one lunchtime, practically dragging my driver away from my parents’ earlier appointments, only to be dismayed that my boyfriend has left two hours before to interview a controversial politician for his Political Science course. I got so pissed off, I never allowed him to touch my tear-smeared face with his floral-printed handkerchief when he rushed to my house to make amends. Not as if I planned to get back, but when he himself surprised me with a call telling he was in a restaurant along Katipunan straight from faraway Taft, I braved the stares and angered whispers of the audience of the play I was watching just so I might send my apologies to my boyfriend. In the middle of the act where the epic character had his body dirt cause river pollution and fishkill, I imagined my boyfriend muttering his disappointment over the phone receiver and dabbing his eyes with his flowery hanky just so the tears would dry.
Next complaint was our sets of friends. Hard as we try to be kind with our respective barkadas, we end up being kind of what-have-you to them. His male friends must have been the bad influence to him, since one time, he smelled like a goat with his cigarette smoke odor. I confronted him when he started puffing tar sticks, and he dramatically replied: “Since you drifted away.” Meanwhile, he turned his nose against my girl friends, most of whom, he suspected, were actually advising me to leave him for another guy. “How could you be so paranoid about these people who never show you any disgust even when you are in a foul mood?” He would stand to leave, but not before telling me that he got my set of barkadas for his rival. “You’re so into them,” he would accuse me. I wish I could defend myself or my friends, but I feared he would get so unreasonable that he would sense I was carrying a lesbian relationship with any of my girl friends.
The last protest consisted of false illusions about each other. While he was courting me, he was extra sweet, exerting effort to find out my favorites and offer them every time he visited. It got me to wondering how he was able to find out my love for chick flicks because the first time he invited me to watch the premiere screening of “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” I knew I have to love this person as well. Several months after reciprocating this guy’s love, I was back to being alone in my movie watching, he tagging along only when it gave him the opportunity to fall asleep in the middle of the screening. Meanwhile, he blamed me for the same fault too: he said I was sugar-like the first few months of answering him, but sweet turned sour when the relationship reached half a year, according to him. Thinking it over, the first semester of our love was eventful because I had not many things to occupy me. I suddenly realized that by the second half, I entered organizations, my academic load got heavier, my reading fare got bulkier, and so, how could I possibly plaster an innocent smile in the face of all school-related works?
When he proposed a cool off, I was rather relieved, thankful even. That meant there would be fewer chances for us to hurt each other now that we were giving one another more time and space to reflect and breathe on. I was about to take one step ahead by proposing a breakup when he beat me to it—he asked for a complete separation when he did not feel my pain over having to recover our previous tempers for a while. I was affirmative; I thought his absence would do wonders in my life because I could focus more on my studies, and that I had time to reassess my feelings, which could very well placed for a better guy than my immediate past boyfriend.
I was wrong. The day he went away, I believed I should have stuck to my previous belief that this guy was the one with whom I was going to spend my whole lifetime. I felt that no other guy could have been sweeter, more caring, more surprising than he. As his absence grew, I had a feeling not so unlike the time I lost my phone. All the directory entries I have lost access to, all the multimedia items I cannot browse and laugh at once more, all the messages I cannot go back to when I want them. I could only call on my imagination to bring the phone’s memories back to me, how would the case be with the person who actually caused most of these remembrances extraordinary? I have driven him away, and now it’s difficult to relive again the good old times, when my side of the bench is empty, empty with the person I could spell the memories back to life.